How to Kill Termites

19 Effective Ways to Get Rid of Termites

Want to learn how to kill termites? Read this post to discover 19 effective ways you can do today to get rid of termites!

Termites are insects that feed on cellulose found in wood and plants. Because these pests can ruin even the house’s basic foundation, it is important to take measures and perform solutions on how to kill termites as quickly as possible.

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There are different types of termites:

  • Drywood – This type belongs to Kalotermitidae family. They are usually found in timber, wood, and hardwood floors. These insects are responsible for destroying homes, so it is important to get quick solutions on how to kill drywood termites.
  • Dampwood – This type of termite are commonly found in damp woods and are seldom found in homes. They belong to the Hodotermitidae and Kalotermitidae families.
  • Conehead – Conehead termites usually gather in the open and there are likely to build their nests in trees.
  • Subterranean – These termites build large nests and live in the soil. Commonly found in the U.S., this type is considered to be one of the most destructive insects. They can destroy house foundation faster than drywood termites.
  • Formosan – This type of termite is more aggressive when it comes to defending their nest than subterranean termite soldiers. They nest and invade structures within the soil.

Any of these types may be present in your home, garden or backyard. Some signs of termite infestation include cracked or bubbled paint on walls, wood damage, small wings on the floor or at any corner of your house, and hollow sounds on solid wood.

To successfully kill termites, you will need to find where the infestation is and use extermination methods like heat, beneficial nematodes, cardboard traps and other simple home remedies. In case of severe infestation, a professional may be required to get rid of termites.

How to Kill Termites Effectively

There are many things that can kill these annoying pests. Certain chemicals can instantly purge a colony of termites. Because of their capacity to cause huge destruction, it is recommended to call a professional to get rid of infestations.

There are also simple and effective techniques on how to kill termites yourself. Here is a list of the best solutions on how to eliminate these annoying pests.

Identify the Type of Termites

How to Kill Termites: Identify the Type of Termites

The two general types that might invade your home are drywood and subterranean termites. Drywood termites live solely in wood while subterranean are found in both wood of homes and soil around the area.

Subterranean termites do more damage to home foundation than drywood so it may need different solutions. You will also need methods that can kill these termites as quickly as possible, such as nematodes and borax.

Aside from the wood of your home, these termites may also infest compost piles.

Read more: 22 Simple Ways to Get Rid of Gnats

1. Borax

Also known as sodium borate, borax is one of the best solutions on how to kill subterranean termites. It leaves them dehydrated and shuts down their nervous system.

You can also use this for other types of termites.

  • Dust or coat infested areas with borax. Repeat the application daily for a few weeks until you kill all termites.
  • Another method on how to kill termites with borax is by adding 1 teaspoon of this powder with 8 ounces of warm water. Mix it well and transfer the solution into a spray bottle and sprinkle on infested wood, furniture, walls and other items. Repeat this treatment once or twice daily.
  • You can also paint a borate solution onto wood surfaces to prevent future infestations.

Note: Wear a mask and gloves while using borax. This can be toxic when inhaled. Keep the power or spray away from children and pets.

2. Orange Oil Spray

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One of the best ways to kill drywood termites is by spraying orange oil on them. It is also highly recommended by experts as it contains D-Limonene that can lead these annoying creatures to their demise.

That compound is also what gives oranges and other citrus fruits their pleasant scents.

To use this method, you will need orange oil and a small spray bottle. Here’s how to kill flying termites and those hiding in wood.

  • Pour orange oil into a spray bottle. Spray it on flying termites and all areas where these insects are hiding.
  • You can also apply orange oil directly to infested furniture to kill termites. Many people also drill small holes into woods and inject orange oil. Repeat the applications for several days until there are no more signs of infestation.

Orange oil is also effective against mosquitoes, crickets, mites, and flies.

3. Parasitic Nematodes

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Nematodes are worm species that can kill a whole colony of termites. If you are having problems with subterranean termites, you can exterminate them quickly with this natural method.

These parasitic roundworms enter the bodies of termites and feed on it. Bacteria are then released from nematodes’ guts. Termites will soon die from blood poisoning caused by these bacteria.

  • Add beneficial nematodes into a pail of water. Mix and let it sit for five to ten minutes. Pour the solution into a spray bottle. Shake and spray where you have seen infestations.
  • Once all termites are dead, nematodes will look for their next target. This means that they help control infestations and keep other insects at bay.
  • If you will use beneficial nematodes on infested soil, make sure that you spray them after sunset or early morning as sunlight will kill them.

Beneficial nematodes are not harmful to humans, plants, and pets. These worms only focus on insects, so they can destroy their entire colony in just about 48 hours.

4. Permethrin Dust

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Permethrin is a synthetic chemical used for controlling subterranean and other types of termites. It is similar to the natural pyrethrum insecticide that derives from chrysanthemum plant, but it lasts for extended periods of time.

Apply the dust directly to the infested areas and into all entrance holes. Make sure that you read the instructions given by the manufacturer.

Permethrin dust contains 1% permethrin and can be used not only for subterranean termites but also for roaches, fleas, moths, European wasps, ground beetles, silverfish, bagworms, ants, and spiders.

Read more: How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants

5. Diatomaceous Earth

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Diatomaceous earth is very effective when it comes to getting rid of many types of insects. In addition to termite infestation, it is also used for eliminating cockroaches, ants, spiders, fleas, and gnats.

This works by penetrating the exoskeleton of these insects. It dehydrates them by absorbing fats and oils from their bodies, making it one of the best solutions on how to kill swarming termites.

  1. Wear a mask before using diatomaceous earth.
  2. Apply a thin layer of diatomaceous earth on infested furniture, walls, ceiling, soil, and other areas that may be pest-ridden.
  3. Sprinkle this powder once in a while to prevent termites and other insects from coming back.

This technique may take a few days, but it works effectively.

6. Neem Oil Spray

How to Kill Termites: Neem Oil

Neem oil is obtained from the seeds of neem trees. In addition to its incredible health benefits, this oil is also used as an organic insecticide spray. It acts as a repellent and reduces insect feeding by interfering with their hormones. This makes it hard for pesky creatures to develop and lay eggs.

Though this method works slowly, it is one of the best solutions to kill termites in home naturally. It also requires direct contact to exterminate them for good.

  1. Mix two tablespoons of 70% neem oil with in one gallon of water.
  2. Pour the solution into a spray bottle.
  3. Spray all infested areas like walls, ceilings, furniture, and plants.
  4. Continue the application for several weeks.

Another option is to apply a generous amount of neem oil on infested areas using a cotton ball.

This method is also useful for deterring whitefly, moth larvae, spider mites, Japanese beetles, locusts, and aphids.

7. Expose Infested Furniture to Sunlight

One of the best ways on how to kill termites in furniture is by exposing them to sunlight. If you are living in a tropical country or when the heat is strong enough, this method will be easy for you.

Exposing a colony of Formosan and subterranean to ultraviolet rays of the sun promotes termite death.

  1. Place infested furniture in direct sunlight.
  2. Leave it outside for three to five days.
  3. Expose other items that may have termites.

Combine this method with other termite traps to speed up the killing process. If sunlight is not strong enough in the area, UV lights that copy sunlight may be effective.

Read more: What Kills Cockroaches Instantly?

8. Wet Cardboard Bait

How to Kill Termites: Wet Cardboard Bait

A wet cardboard is one of the effective solutions on how to kill termites naturally. Because termites feed on cellulose, the woody smell of wet cardboard will be appealing to these insects.

  1. Take some cardboard strips and make them wet.
  2. Stack them near the infested areas. Termites will smell the scent of wet cardboard and feed on its cellulose. Leave it overnight.
  3. Once the cardboard is infested with these insects, use gloves and take it outside.
  4. Burn the cardboard immediately to kill the termites.
  5. Repeat this method as many times as necessary.

For best results, combine this trap with other methods to kill termites quickly. Make sure that you check this tap regularly so you can kill these insects right away before they go back to their nests.

9. Vinegar and Lemons

How to Get Rid of Termites: Vinegar and Lemon JuiceGet Vinegar Here

Like other methods to kill termites, the first step is to locate mud-tubes inside or on the walls, along the pipes, in the foundation and find their nests.

One of the best solutions on how to kill termites in wood is by spraying vinegar on infested areas. Vinegar is a powerful weapon against drywood and subterranean termites.

  1. Combine one-half cup of vinegar with juice from two fresh lemons.
  2. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and shake it well.
  3. Spray this mixture on infested areas, especially on their entry points.
  4. Consider spraying on surfaces that these termites might attack.
  5. Repeat this process until the infestation is gone.

This mixture will soak through the cracks and holes, killing termites by destroying their digestive tract. Lemons contain d-limonene which is a poison to wood insects.

10. Expose to Low or High Temperatures

These tiny creatures die under exposure to extreme low or high temperatures. This method is useful for furniture, frames, books and other small items that are infested by termites.

Aside from taking pest-ridden pieces outside during summer, you can also apply cold treatment to kill these destructive insects.

Cold treatment is a natural way to get rid of terminates by putting pest-ridden items outside during winter or inside a refrigerator for 5 days. The required temperature is -15 degrees to successfully kill them.

Read more: 31 Simple Ways to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

11. Fipronil

For large infestations, Fipronil is one of the effective solutions on how to kill termites in your walls or ceiling. This is an insecticide that is used for controlling various types of insects, including termites.

Termites will die instantly when they get direct contact or when they eat fipronil. This product affects the central nervous system of these insects. This chemical should be handled by a pest control expert.

  • If you want to use it independently, be very careful and follow instructions on the packaging.
  • Try to avoid exposure and follow First Aid instructions if any exposure (skin contact, eye contact, digested, breathed in) occurs.
  • For maximum effectiveness, fipronil must be applied in the right locations.
  • Other insects that can be eliminated with Fipronil are cockroaches, beetles, ticks, crickets, rootworms, fleas, ticks, ants, and more.

    12. Salt

    Salt is also one of the natural ways on how to kill termites in your ceiling, walls, and furniture. However, it is recommended to use it with other methods to get rid of the threat completely. If it is difficult to locate their hiding areas, it is best to get help from a professional exterminator.

    1. Look for signs of infestation and mud tubes.
    2. Mix equal parts of salt and warm water in a bowl. Too much water will make the solution ineffective.
    3. Fill a baster or syringe with this solution and treat the infested areas.
    4. Inject the solution into holes, open cracks and into the ground. You can also drill small holes into the wood and pour the solution around entry points.
    5. Repeat this process for a few days or weeks, depending on the severity of infestation.

    This treatment will keep termites at bay and prevent future invasions.

    13. How to Kill Termites in Mulch

    Wood bark or mulch attracts termites and this will be the first thing they will invade. Many people use mulch in their backyards, which may get the attention of termites and find their way to your home eventually.

    • If you use mulch in your yard, it is best to remove them as termites can easily transfer from your garden or backyard to your home.
    • One of the best solutions on how to kill termites in mulch is to steep its components with borate salt.
    • Another effective solution is to change the temperature of the infested area. You can use liquid nitrogen to lower the temperature or make a fire to raise the temperature.
    • Nematodes are natural parasites to pests, making it an effective method to solve the issue.

    Stumps and other varieties of wood are very attractive to these creatures. Consider removing them or apply preventive measures right away to prevent infestations.

    14. Chlorpyrifos

    This organophosphate pesticide is used for killing different types of pests, including worms and insects. It works by blocking the enzyme in charge for controlling messages between nerve cells.

    This causes the nervous system of these insects to function incorrectly and they die immediately.

    Chlorpyrifos is considered to be toxic even to humans and animals. It is best to let a professional handle this chemical in getting rid of severe infestations.

    Read the instruction and check if this insecticide is allowed to use in your country.

    • All products based on Chlorpyrifos are toxic, so make sure to use it only for outdoor infestations.
    • Treat infested areas such as tunnels in damaged woods, wood structures, porches, wooden fences, patios, behind veneers, and other items that are likely to be infested.
    • After treatment with Chlorpyrifos, take a shower and wash your clothes in a washing machine immediately.

    Note: Do not touch the substance with bare hands. Do not smoke, drink or eat during treatment.

    15. DIY Termite Pesticide

    Garlic oil has insecticidal properties, making it one of the best natural solutions on how to kill termites in the wall, ceilings, furniture and other infested areas.

    The same way tobacco and neem oil also assist in eliminating termites and other annoying creatures that may be present in your home.

    • In a small bowl, mix 20% garlic oil, 5% tobacco, 10% neem oil and lukewarm water.
    • Stir well and transfer the mixture into a spray bottle.
    • Spray this solution on furniture, walls, ceiling and other infested areas.
    • Continue spraying twice a day for two or more weeks.

    16. Timbor

    Timbor is another effective method for killing termites and other types of insects. It can be used in dry form or a water solution.

    Mixing it with water allows you to spray the solution on pest-ridden areas. The dry form is ideal for wall voids and attics.

    • If you prefer to use dry form, use a crusader duster and apply it to holes, between the insulation, small cracks and crevices. Consider using an electric duster for better and wider coverage.
    • You can create a solution by mixing one pound of 10% timbor with one gallon of water. If you have 15% timbor solution, mix it with 1.5 pounds of water. Apply it on infested surfaces using a brush or spray.

    Timbor diffuses into wood structures and gives protection against termites and fungi.

    17. Imidacloprid

    This synthetic insecticide contains powerful ingredients based upon nicotine that can kill subterranean termites effectively.

    This chemical can be purchased in many brand names such as Advantage, Provado, Winner, Hachikusan, Premise, Admire, Confidor, and Kohinor.

    This insecticide works if the termites come into direct contact with it or if they ingest it. An affected termite can kill the entire colony with contact with their queen.

    Imidacloprid is also effective for the control of cockroaches and fleas.

    18. Kerosene

    Kerosene may also be effective in exterminating termites. It creates a hostile environment for these insects to breathe and feed on.

    • Spray kerosene oil on pest-ridden wooden structure and furniture.
    • For additional benefits, add a few drops of citronella oil.

    Note: If you would use kerosene to get rid of any infestation, be extra careful as it is highly flammable.

    19. Hire a Professional

    In severe cases of infestations, it may be best to hire a professional. Looking for nests are difficult and some are often hard to eradicate or inaccessible.

    Treating termites yourself is possible for small areas and certain furniture, but you may miss a colony or nest if they are nesting in the foundations of your house.

    Without the right apparatuses, finding colonies under your home will be impossible. They die from sunlight so there is a high chance that they will also nest underground.

    Professionals have appropriate tools and skills that will help you eradicate all termites promptly.

    Some pesticides involve harsh chemicals and need to be managed with upmost care. Contact with skin, ingestion by pets or children can be fatal.


    Termites thrive and feed on wood. They can increase their population quickly and destroy your furniture your home’s foundation. This is why it is important to get rid of them as early as possible.

    Check for hollow sounds in the walls or ceiling, bubbled paints on the walls, powdered wood on wooden items, termite wings and other signs of infestation. You can also call a professional to provide a cold or heat treatment.

    While using natural solutions on how to kill termites yourself, you must keep moisture away and remove any standing water around your home. Consider using parasitic nematodes as these worms are very effecting in getting rid of these pests.

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    20 Easy Ways You Can Do Today to Kill Termites Effectively
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